Follow God's Example
05 December 2017
Reading: Psalm 119:1-80; Ephesians 5-6
1 Follow God’s example in everything you do, because you are his dear children. 2 Live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ, who loved you and gave himself as a sacrifice to take away your sins. And God was pleased, because that sacrifice was like sweet perfume to him. (Ephesians 5:1-2 NLT)
Follow God’s Example:The most effective method of teaching and learning in matters of the heart and soul is discipleship or apprenticeship.
I remember once attending a church staff training session on how to use email and Microsoft Office Calendar. The presenter told us that the primary result we were trying to achieve was efficiency. That statement rang an alarm bell inside me! In matters of the heart and soul, efficiency is not the primary factor.
In fact, one of the greatest hindrances to our spiritual development is that we have confused efficiency with effectiveness. God's work, done in the power of God's Spirit, is always effective, seldom efficient.
A key element of the discipleship or apprenticeship method of teaching and learning is the “Be With” factor. The teacher chooses disciples to “Be With” him or her and then lives life, installs plumbing, builds cabinets, or does ministry, and the disciple/apprentices watch and imitate and then practice what they see. And don’t forget that I said it’s an effective method, not an efficient method.
God loved you and sent his son to be your savior. Christ loved you and gave himself for you. So if you apprentice yourself to him and watch him you’ll see love—risk-taking, other-focused, self-sacrificing, extravagant love!
Learn to love like that!
Father, I see two lessons for me in these two verses today: 1) You reminded me of the importance of apprenticeship--the most effective and least efficient method of teaching and learning. 2) You reminded me that I’m learning to love, not learning to be successful or do ministry efficiently. Please help me to make a step forward in learning and loving today. Amen.